Post November, 2016 by Sandra Shaw Homer

A tectonic shift.

The ground falls away beneath my feet.

Trapped between two countries, I have no home at all.

Floating in space, unable to breathe,

Crushed by conflicting desires,

I find no place to go, no place to leave.

I am sacked by sadness and a desperate fear

That rip apart my old viscera like the Bird of Death.

One large death has already passed,

And what remains to me is mourning.

Only the details –

The cleaning up, emptying out, throwing away –

Oh, why hang on to hope?

That’s always the last damn thing to go.

..
Sandra Shaw Homer has lived in Costa Rica for 27 years, where she has taught languages and worked as a translator and environmental activist. For several years she wrote a regular column, “Local Color,” for the English-language weekly The Tico Times. Her writing has appeared in several print and on-line literary and travel venues, as well as her own blog, writingfromtheheart.net. Her first travel memoir, Letters from the Pacific, received excellent Kirkus and Publishers Weekly reviews. A brief memoir of survival, The Magnificent Dr. Wao, is available as a Kindle Book, and a second travel memoir, Journey to the Joie de Vivre was released in 2015.

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There Is No Plan B by Bill Lythgoe

Exploit the world’s resources – yes you can.

Accumulate the wealth that sets you free

and help us implement the master plan.

 

A healthy profit’s more important than

a giant panda or a chimpanzee.

Exploit the world’s resources – yes you can.

 

Nuke North Korea, isolate Iran,

ignore fake news, bad deals, see what I see

and help us implement the master plan.

 

Forget man’s inhumanity to man –

that’s how it is; how it will always be.

Exploit the world’s resources – yes you can.

 

The shit will never really hit the fan.

We know the score, accept our guarantee

and help us implement the master plan.

 

There is no global warming frying pan.

No fire will burn the likes of you and me.

Exploit the world’s resources – yes you can

and help us implement the master plan.

donald-trump

We are not silent poets by Jenni Pascoe

We’re that candle and laptop lit electrical lapse
We are paperclip fixes for broken zips
We’re plectrums crudely fashioned from pop bottle caps
We’d be jumpers for goalposts!
(except we’re scared of being hit)

But we are not silent poets!

You’ll find us in back rooms near the bathrooms in bars
On plinths, on the Fringe, in libraries and the like
We’re free thinking, tea drinking, modern day bards
And we properly take the mike

No, we are not silent poets!

Our love of paper does not make us stationary
With hearts full of fire and arms full of dictionaries
We write… the wrongs of this world

When our pens run dry
We’ll sharpen our pencils
We’ll spray paint our stanzas
in Banksy style stencils
When our crayons are broken
And our pencils are blunt
We will etch into mountains –
‘Donald Trump is…
somewhat misguided’

And when they’ve taken our paintbrushes, biros and Bics
The charcoal, the chalk (and for safety – pointed sticks)
And it looks like we’ve got no implements left
We’ll make our own stage, and with our very last breath
We will say we, were not silent poets!

For the children of Burma, etc by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

The guillotine falls
Upon a rose petal
Velveteen as that storybook rabbit
Worn tossed aside
Eyes missing
From the vulturous wear and tear.
What is
Carrion? Roadkill
Sloughed crosses on the dogwood
Childrens’ heads
Rolling
In Burma.
Even in the American ghetto
The massacres occur
But not like this.
Not like this.
This is only a guess.
But photographs are sirens bringing
The truth the rocks the cliffs
Near
As the banshee crosses cultural divides
Yes dear Odyssey
The banshee wails.

Solemn Signature of Death by Ananya S Guha

A journalist reports
we kill, in this country
of hills, mountains and
plains. In this country
barricaded by snow peaks
walls, land which know no
country, only people
We have forfeited songs
of  freedom, slung over
shoulders of enslaved race
we talk peace, not war
but war is in raging footpaths
we wage it against relenting writers
to a photo finish.
In Kashmir even as snow capped mountains
are hidden by rising sun
the blood spots tarnish a nation
now, as refugees come to our embattled
country, we say no to high raised peaks
simmering with discontent.
The journalist was blasted seven times
till her brains outwitted her body.
Solemn signature of death.

Breakthroughs by Eliza Mimski

I.

As she approached the conflict, hoping for a major breakthrough, she remembered all the times

when she walked down hallways and embraced the unknown. There were times when she scrapped her plans. There were times when she whispered to herself to go back. And there were times when she warriored forward.

II.

The protests in St. Louis remind us that grief is not allowed.

You will be crushed if you attempt to have a voice.

III.

Today on the front page someone has slept with the wrong person. The drinking water is still bad. Opioid crisis. Russian probe. Colin Kaepernick is a good guy.

The Emmys by Eliza Mimski

Isn’t it funny how Sean Spicer showed up at the Emmys last night? I mean,

I’m always up for a good joke and it was a big surprise. I’ll have to give it that.

Did you see Melissa McCarthy’s face? Did you see the faces of the people in the audience?

So nice that someone can make fun of themselves. I guess I’ll have to forget that

he was the mouthpiece for Donald J.Trump. That’s all in the past. Now we can feel sorry

for Sean Spicer. After all, he was discarded like so many others. And you know what?

Even George W is looking good these days. Well, maybe not really.

 

I think if we’re going to be fair we need to give equal time to Steve Bannon. Why wasn’t

he featured at the Emmys? Maybe because no Melissa McCarthy played him, but I still

think it was a good opportunity. It could have gotten a lot of laughs. He could have – let’s

see, what could he have done? Tap danced? Sang a song? Blackface?

 

What I’m getting at here is that sometimes it’s good to laugh and sometimes it’s good not to.

You have to choose when something is funny and when it isn’t. Is Sean Spicer endearing

now? Is he relatable because he’s been ousted and is now seen as a quasi-victim? Or, the

bigger question: can we forgive? Maybe we should forgive everyone who has hurt us.

Or maybe we shouldn’t. I think it’s important to remember that we have choices. We can

laugh at something for its shock and surprise. That doesn’t mean we condone that person’s

past actions. Or we can sit staunchly and not forgive. And not forget. It’s all about

where our heart is at on that particular day.

Rohingya & other invisible places by Antony Owen

In Rohingya,
a bright bird was shunned for being beautiful
if you see a torc of vultures another village burnt down
only the river reflects what is happening like stories in another language.
To translate,
a bell is ringing from a dazed Ox circled in fire
it is only an Ox, he serves the mouth and disputed grass
at the very same moment in Srebrenica a covered woman unveils her tears.

In Paradise,
a man with dirty hands cleans a gold Rolls Royce by day.
At night he scrubs himself and the humming of his wife cleanses him.
England, he says, is guilding Yemen, creating refugees like sadistic greek gods.

To translate,
a bell is ringing from a Devon cow, milked for Tesco.
At five am they clean the udders and work them to ulcers
At the very same moment in Rohingya, a landmine clicks, the screen burns out.

To translate,
we are exhausted by death.

Wild Disregard by Karen Little

Clouds lower and prove the curve of sky circling
in broad strokes. Sea should soothe, it’s inevitable
power override the black dog pounding towards me.
Head-blows won’t cause permanent damage, though
double-vision is inconvenient. I watch sprite shadows
scampering along sea walls, see him hook
twin trout who wriggle on the end of taut lines, reeling
them in, hugging their slippery bodies with four arms.
I no longer lust for him, not even as an idea. My addiction
to unreality, found at the bottom of wine bottles, gives
extra layers of skin even as he flays them; we’re angry
as gulls squabbling over sea-food half-baked in sun.

Shaping Dreams by Karen Little

At the tidal point where ripples run like dominoes
from sea left to sea right, memory offers up decades
of misunderstandings, trying to make things right,
managing to never be right. Reality pounds in my ears
leaving no room for imagination, the crest before anything happens
the only time our power seems matched. There’s no turning back,
no gentle retreat to look forward to, just being plucked like a bruised whelk
from its shell. I learn my lesson over and over again, but every wave
is a little different, shifting grains into distinct patterns, hitting new rhythms,
shuffling another set of broken dreams to fold in on themselves.

So by Cath Campbell

So you had a bad shit day.
So you woke late having had a skinful last night.
So your hammer smashed head hurts horribly.
So you missed the bus, had no petrol,
and griped all the way to the office,
took aspirin, drank coffee, and left early.
So you had a bad shit day.

There’s a boy somewhere out there
hanging on to his mother who starved.
Fed him rather than herself, and she’s died
and he doesn’t know what to do but lie beside her
on the dusty road out of a broken town
bombed by another country, maybe even yours.
So you had a bad shit day?

Street Death by Marjon Van Bruggen

The car roars off
falling down
all dimensions change
an ant marches in front of my nose
he is HUGE; stops, looks at me
tries to tell me of his burdens.

He speaks Ant, a language I do not understand
rising behind the gesticulating insect
the nose of a shining shoe
a round and moving mountain
the face, belonging to the owner of the shoe
is blurred in a high distance.

The mouth moves, a sound rumbles out
“What is your name”?
how would I know?
reality is different down here
my name probably changed
my head feels light and wet and red.

Someone drags at my arm; it hurts
let go. I am comfortable on the asphalt
can you get the grit out of my mouth?
I know, some teeth are knocked out
it must be an ugly sight
now let me close my eyes.

I cannot stand the ant looking at me much longer
his message….I wish I understood
he seems so serious
the red flows slowly by; a small river
there is a wail in the air and in my ear
it can’t be her; my Mom is dead for years.

There she is. I told you things are different
down here and I feel so content
she will cradle me, rock me to sleep
let me finally come in the world of peace
where she lives now
I try to smile a bit in anticipation.

Oh, by the way, now that I know I tell you
angels have no wings
they only can fly ’cause they are weightless
having no earthly body
all colors slowly disappear
the light gets brighter and brighter.

The Corner of My Eye by Karen Little

Tearing along the beach, pebble-heart scattering
sinewy seaweed, my small muscle begs to rest after
years of allowing foam to gather around buoys
undulating like chalk monsters dipping
in and out of oceans.  My honesty doesn’t allow
what’s hidden to stay hidden, the breeze is Coor’s,
empty seashells crackling under my feet, asking
if I’m victim or executioner, waves telling me all I need
to know, though to translate them would be a travesty.

..

Karen Little’s first novella, ‘Filled with Ghosts’ was published in December 2015, and shortlisted for a Saboteur Award in 2016. Set in 90’s Southern Spain it was described as ‘Visceral, surreal, and utterly compelling. This is a writer who finds a strange beauty in the darkest of places.’  The second book in the trilogy, ‘Ghost Train Leaving’ was published in July 2017.

Cuts and scars by Andy Brown

A bloodless coup instigated by foreign forces

intent on preventing proscription of their product.

Irony of taking back control then instilling the means

to relinquish scrutiny confirms closed thought processes

of those who read but do not study, and never dare question.

Tax-avoiding power brokers basking in sun-drenched

islands desert reader requirements, pandering need for

somebody worse-off approve genocide felt by the

vulnerable, benefit claimants sacrificed on the cold

streets where capitalist uniformity sits bearing

witness to globalised interest.

Corporations perch on walls of cards

misbalancing books reclaiming kingdoms

structured and lined with reinforced serfdom.

In a supposedly rich and advanced country

no subtlety needed to convince unquestioning

brainwashed populous, no interrogation insisted

for ideals, ambitions, wealth aspirations of masters

that pamper the celebrity requirement. There may be a

few points worth debate, for example let us compare

Islamic State and Henry VIII, both experienced in

acts of beheading and execution now Parliament

vote to return to an age when dictatorial decision

was supreme, left to their own devices Ministers

believe their heroic publicity, getting Britain back

from a foreign foe to slavishly accede and process

whims of newspaper barons from far flung shores.

Legislative guillotine cuts a swathe through rights.

Sam’s tag by Mark Young

It’s a dream weekend. The hard-

est sheriff in the stratosphere

has just been given a get out of

jail card from the populist DoNut

Mixing Machine. North Korea has

launched three short-haul missiles

at the McDonalds just over the

border asking if they deliver, &,

 

if they do, could they please send

a Big Mac & fries to the Glorious

Leader. Circus camels admit

they slip out at nights to work

as escorts, will continue to hump

for as long as they like it. Mourta

is leaving Dhanai punai &

coming to the mountains of Mars.

 

 

Mark Young’s most recent books are Ley Lines & bricolage, both from gradient books of Finland, The Chorus of the Sphinxes, from Moria Books in Chicago, & some more strange meteorites, from Meritage & i.e. Press, California / New York. A limited edition chapbook, A Few Geographies, was recently released by One Sentence Poems as the initial offering in their new range.

The fighter jets by Mark Young

come in
over the
runway,
low, half

a minute
apart, no
need to
touch down

on an area
they have
already made
their own. So.

Into the air
again, steep
rise, forty-
five degrees,

turning first
towards the
sea & then
sweeping in-

land in an
arc, corral-
ling the
noise that

trails behind
them before
closing the
loop tight,

capturing
everything —
clouds, birds,
noise, the

people on
the ground —
but taking no
prisoners.

11.04 a.m. by Mark Young

The helicopters come

rotoring in. Which means:

not rescue operations but

war games. & since it

seems that most of the

 

Australian Armed Forces

are either overseas in

Syria or Afghanistan at

Trump’s behest, or in-

volved in trials accused of

 

cat-killing, bastardization,

or drug abuse, I suppose

we should be pleased

that soon the jets of the

Singaporean Air Force

 

will come screaming down

the valley upsetting

the mosquitoes & injecting

much needed millions

into the local economy.

Broken ( After visit to London, September 2017) by Dave Rendle

I heard the crying of the birds

as music sailed into tragic sky,

passing lonely figures with express

ionless gaze, sitting sightless and mute,

their only comfort a strong weatherproof can

almost naked in their cages, neglected and worn,

faces stained with sadness and bitter pills

the marks of battered existence,

sheltering among cardboard in open view

broken and torn, losing sense of hope,

with aching belly’s, empty pockets

flicker of dreams slowly evaporating,

struggling, drifting on streets of anguish

the pavements they sleep, not laced with gold,

as rain poured down, to lash skin and souls

others  rushed on by in search of entertainment

troubles they will keep as another world turns.

and politicians walk on paths of indifference.